CIMB Artober: Art and Soul 2022

Group Exhibition:-

Husin Hourmain
Masnoor Ramli Mahmud
Suhaimi Fadzir
Zulkifli Yusoff

CIMB Artober Art Fair Malaysia

V.I.P Preview: 19th October 2022

Public Admission: 20th – 24th October 2022

Menara Ken TTDI, Kuala Lumpur


*Click on images to zoom in


The meaning of classic is judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind. A title which aptly describes the reason why as a curator I have personally chosen this particular exhibition. The artists picked are a group of more senior artists who are best known within their respective genres of art — Zulkifli Yusoff and his typography print and collaged wall sculpture, Suhaimi Fadzir with his avant-gardist assemblage, Masnoor Ramli Mahmud a multidisciplinary artist who can manipulate any form of mediums as an expression of his art and Husin Hourmain and his painterly abilities in Islamic art. These artists have produced art forms that withstood the “test” of time and visuals that they have produced remain very relevant despite the changes within the contemporary times. 

Artists Profile

Husin Hourmain; After his successful solo Awal Hurouf, Asal Hurouf II and also his two men show Higera with Md Fadli Yusoff brought about a revisit to his seminal Awal Hurouf Asal Hurouf of Jawi callligrpahy works, Husin is exploring a more minimal style of works. His latest Kiswah works which span oddly at 8 feet in height by 1.5 feet in width offer the audience an interesting perspective and narrow the viewer’s focus up to the angular tip of the Kaaba. Kiswah is the cloth that covers the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is draped annually on the 9th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the day pilgrims leave for the plains of Mount Arafat during the Hajj.

Masnoor Ramli Mahmud; The visuals of New Reality were initially produced in (2002). It was a social commentary on the hazards of uranium. As a set of sequential order, New Reality moves from static (New Reality 1) to medium-speed rotation (New Reality 2) and finally to high-speed rotation (New Reality 3) dispersing all debris and matters out. It is interesting how these three visuals are still relevant 20 years later in the year 2022 reflecting the pandemic to post-pandemic effects — how the society changed from a static livelihood during the lockdown while positively taking charge to manoeuvre their momentum back to “normal”. Many interpretations can be formed from these three powerful visuals. In any static or down moments, life will again rotate continuously just hopefully this time with negativity discarded. 

Suhaimi Fadzir; Dialectical Langkawi is Suhaimi’s latest experiment of creating corten steel finished on steel. Corten steel is a weathering rusty steel widely used in architecture and design. Brown-orange in colour, corten steel reaches its mature stage in around one to three years. The rust aesthetic effect of corten steel makes it a strong appeal to architecture, design and even the art world. Artist like Richard Sierra is well known for their gigantic curved plates corten steel as a walkthrough installation. For Dialectical Langkawi, Suhaimi concocts his formula to mimic the corten steel effect that brings the appeal of brown-orange in odd angular shapes. The rust symbolically reflects the long-existing life, history and myths of Langkawi. If scrutinise closely, Dialectical Langkawi is the study of various maps and topography of Langkawi in a somewhat of a folded origami that provides an interesting stylised abstract of a sculptural form. 

A Man and His World series have been in the exploration phase for the longest time. In his initial years of using neon lights as his medium of artwork, he could achieve only single-colour neon. However A Man and His World, Suhaimi managed to “paint” with different colours of neon lights.  Tun Razak as the second prime minister of Malaysia in his heart and also in the hearts of many Malaysians have achieved great milestones for the country. Tun Razak was, in fact, the first Southeast Asian prime minister to establish a foreign relationship with China. The photograph of Tun Razak with Mao or even Tun Razak with JFK was a very iconic image taken in the 1970s.  Photos were in black and white due to the technology then. Suhaimi wanted to envision these black and white photographs in colours instead of manipulating the photos in colours through the technology of photoshop, as he wanted to use his own brush strokes to “painting” it with neon lights bringing colour and fresh perspective to the historical moment then. 

Zulkifli Yusoff; Both Rukunegara Voice 1 and Rukunegara Voice 3 were produced subsequent to his 13th solo series, Negaraku, which was presented at Balai Seni Lukis in 2010. On the whole, Negaraku can be viewed as a visual accumulation of Zulkifli’s interrogations into particular aspects of Malaysia’s history; most notably Tun Razak’s response to the economic issues brought about by the worldwide recession of 1973-1975. It is of note that Zulkifli does not simply retell the events of the period, but rather uses his artistic practice as a way to understand past events and their impact on the present and future, while making this information accessible for audiences who were not present or have no recollection of the events of 1973-1975. He begins thinking through the Green Book initiative, which encouraged agricultural initiatives within Malaysian society, not just on industrial levels but also for individual families as a way to increase self-reliance and combat issues brought about by the recession. Zulkifli presents visual clues in the form of imagery, such as small animals, and printed excerpts, thus infusing these mixed media works with the concepts on which he ruminates. 

Audiences today are familiar with Zulkifli’s black-and-white layered strips of printed canvas; Rukunegara Voice 1 and Rukunegara Voice 3 are pivotal to the development of what is now a signature style for the eminent artist. Zulkifli pasted long ribbons of white canvas which had images and text printed on in black over one another, building an abstract base dense in information and visual tension.

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